Goodbye Panda Eyes: 8 Makeup Tips for Contact Lens Wearers

woman putting contact lenses in

Our eyes are a focal part of our faces which can be accentuated with the right makeup techniques. But makeup can be tricky enough to apply without even bringing contact lenses into the mix. Say goodbye to panda eyes and keep your eyes looking healthy and beautiful with these quick and easy tips on how to apply makeup.


1. The general rule of thumb when applying makeup is to put your contact lenses in first. The way I remember it is in alphabetical order – C for contact lenses comes before M for makeup – sounds silly but works every time.

2. This also applies to removing makeup too. Lenses should be removed before makeup – simple!

3. Inserting contact lenses before applying makeup means that you will avoid smearing your makeup while trying to apply them. Also it means that you will be able to see more clearly, thus making it easier to apply your make up.

4. Remember to always wash your hands throughly, using an anti-bacterial wash or soap before you apply your lenses. Make sure you dry them thoroughly before you put them anywhere near your eyes.

5. Never ever apply eyeliner to the inner surface of your eyelids as this may cause irritation which in turn could lead to an infection. If you want to wear eyeliner, apply it gently to the outer area of your eyelids just above your eyelashes. This will not only accentuate and open up your eyes but will ensure that any discomfort is avoided.

woman putting lotion on

6. Avoid oil-based products. Instead opt for hypoallergenic varieties as these are a lot more kinder on the eyes and skin. Always replace your makeup every month to lower your risk of eye problems and infections.

7. If you are a big advocate of eye shadow then apply cream-based ones carefully so that they don’t leak into your eyes. For powder-based eye shadows then apply these with eyes closed. Brush off any of the excess before opening your eyes.

8. For contact lens wearers, it is advised that you use water-based cream eye shadows as they are less likely to cause irritation if they come into contact with your eyes.

Now, you are all set to go and be pretty! If you feel that contact lenses are not for you, there are a number of designer glasses out there to suit your face shape and your style.

– Text by Rebecca Jones 

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  1. Sammy
    March 14, 2014 / 11:04 pm

    I dont agree with this. I’m sorry. I wear contacts because im blind as a bat and make up just doesn’t look the same with glasses on (i find). This is exactly what i do when i put on my make up with contacts.

    Eye primer, Eye shadow, Eye liner and fill in browns
    Pressed Powder
    Highlight, Blush, Bronzer
    Translucent powder
    Contact lenses and then mascara

    My eyes get very water when i put on my contacts but i’ve learned that a little solution goes a long way. There’s still at least two tear drops that escape but i try to be swift about catching it (lol)

    So i save the pressed powder for the under eye concealer and eye liner for last…That way i can do touch ups for the concealer seeing as to how it needs it from the tears and all.

  2. Delia Jones
    March 28, 2016 / 7:37 pm

    I have problems with make up irritating my eyes when I wear contact lenses. Could be the preservatives in the make up, or I am just allergic to something. Anyway, my optometrist said to get hold of preservative free hypo allergenic make up to use with the contact lenses. Finally after hunting I found some here, quote a good range.

    I have tried the eye liner and the long lash mascara and it seems to suit me.

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